As the 2014 midterms are approaching, the latest Reason-Rupe national poll finds 40 percent of Americans plan to vote for the Democratic candidate running in their district while 36 percent plan to vote Republican. However, when asked which party they want controlling Congress, a strong plurality (43 percent) opted for neither Republican nor Democrats to control government. With neither major political parties controlling Congress, divided government and hence gridlock would continue.
While millennials would vote similar to older cohorts on Election Day, if given the choice 54 percent would actually prefer neither party to control Congress, 31 would favor Democratic control and 11 would opt for Republican control. Most of the shift among young people occurs among those who lean Republican, not Democratic.
Among independents—the group often used as a barometer for the median voter—fully 60 percent want neither the Democrats nor Republicans to control Congress. If they had to choose between only those two parties, they are evenly split with 33 percent who say they'd vote for the Republican candidate, 30 percent for the Democratic candidate, with the remainder voting for another party's candidate or are undecided. This reflects what the Pew Research Center has documented showing that since 2009 political independents have surpassed Democrats as the most likely political group.
While the 2016 presidential election is still a few years away, many are already sizing up potential candidates. Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton leads among Democrats with 64 percent who plan to vote for her. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren come in a distant second and third with 11 percent and 6 percent respectively. Gov. Andrew Cuomo garners 2 percent and Gov. Brian Schweitzer follows with 1 percent.
Indicative of the current Republican Party today, Republican candidates split into basically a 5-way tie. Coming in first is former governor Mike Huckabee with 15 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan at 12 percent, Sen. Rand Paul at 11 percent, former governor Jeb Bush at 11 percent, and Gov. Chris Christie at 10 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio tie at 6 percent each, Gov. Scott Walker at 5 percent, and Gov. Bobby Jindal at 1 percent.
Reason-Rupe also asked Democrats and independents which Republican they preferred, finding that Chris Christie has the greatest appeal among Democrats while independents opt for Rand Paul. Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton won out when Republicans and independents were asked which Democrat they preferred.
Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 26-30 2014 interviewed 1003 adults on both mobile (503) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.6%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results, detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here.